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Section 4: The Rocky Mountains

Twain's party departed Great Falls at 7:35 am, Thursday, August 1st, 1895. They rode the Montana Central Railway, part of the Great Northern Railroad owned by J.J. Hill. Hill needed to connect his interests in Great Falls with the mining operations in Helena, Butte and the smelter in Anaconda. The railroad followed part of the old Mullan Military Road. Along the way we examine the fate of Egbert Malcolm Clarke and one of the most egregious actions taken by the U.S. Army against Native American peoples, the Marias massacre. Twain gave a lecture that evening in Butte. The next day, August 2nd, he and Major Pond traveled to Anaconda. The audience there was so small that Twain reimbursed the local manager one hundred dollars. He was a man Twain had known in the 60's. They returned to Butte and from there to Helena. Monday, August 5th, Twain's party, along with Senator Sanders and Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher rode to Missoula, Montana. They traveled on the Northern Pacific Railroad. Twain entertained and was entertained by the troops at Fort Missoula. From Missoula they continued on to Spokane, Washington.
Montana Central Railway

James Jerome Hill, primary stockholder and president of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway (StPM&M), established the Montana Central Railway on January 25, 1886. Few railroads served Montana at that time. But Butte, Montana, was a booming mining town that needed to get its metals to market; gold and silver had been discovered near Helena; and coal companies in Canada were eager to get their fuel to Montana's smelters.

Egbert Malcolm Clarke

Egbert Malcolm Clark(e) arrived in the upper Missouri region in the 1840's with a reputation for violence. He had been briefly enrolled at West Point but was quickly expelled for assaulting a classmate. President Andrew Jackson reportedly intervened and Clarke was reinstated only to be court martialed for another attack on a classmate. He had been in the Texas Army and worked for the American Fur Company. Eventually he owned property along what had been the Mullan Military Road.

A Missouri River Dam Disaster

Samuel Thomas Hauser, territorial governor of Montana from 1885 to 1887, formed the Missouri River Power Company in 1894 and won the approval of the United States Congress to build a dam, the Hauser Dam, two miles below Stubb's Ferry on the Missouri River. It was a steel dam built on masonry footings on top of gravel, with the ends of the dam anchored in bedrock on either side of the river. The dam was 630 feet long and 75 feet high.

The Silver Mining Bubble

The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression in the United States that began in 1893 and ended in 1897. It deeply affected every sector of the economy and produced political upheaval that led to the 1896 realigning election and the Presidency of William McKinley. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, perhaps along with the protectionist McKinley Tariff of that year, has been partially blamed for the panic. Passed in response to a large overproduction of silver by western mines, the Sherman Act required the U.S.

Anaconda

Anaconda was founded by Marcus Daly, one of the Copper Kings, who financed the construction of a smelter on nearby Warm Springs Creek to process copper ore from the Butte mines. In June 1883, Daly filed for a town plat for "Copperopolis", but that name was already used by another mining town in Meagher County. Instead, Daly accepted the name "Anaconda", suggested by the United States postmaster of the time, Clinton Moore.

A Railroad Spur to Anaconda

The Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway is a short line railroad in the U.S. state of Montana which was founded in 1892. It was financed by the interests behind the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, (Daly and JJ Hill), and operated primarily to carry copper ore from the mines at Butte, Montana to the smelters at Anaconda, Montana, although the company was chartered as a common carrier and also carried passengers and general freig

Helena

Helena: By 1888, about 50 millionaires lived in Helena, more per capita than in any city in the world. They had made their fortunes from gold. About $3.6 billion (in today's dollars) of gold was taken from Last Chance Gulch over a 20-year period. The Last Chance Placer is one of the most famous placer deposits in the western United States. Most of the production occurred before 1868. This large concentration of wealth was the basis of developing fine residences and ambitiou architecture in the city; its Victorian neighborhoods reflect the gold years.

Fort Missoula

August 6: Two ambulances were sent to the hotel for our party and Adjutant General Ruggles, who is here on a tour of inspection. Mark rose early and said he would walk to the fort slowly, he thought it would do him good. General Ruggles and the ladies went in one ambulance, the old four mule army officers ambulance, and the other waited some little time before starting that I might complete arrangements for all the party to go direct from the fort to the depot. I was the only passenger riding with the driver and enjoying the memory of like experiences on the plains when in the army.

Credits

Alhambra, Montana - Wikipedia
Anaconda, Montana - Wikipedia
Avon, Montana - Wikipedia
Basin, Montana - Wikipedia
Bearmouth, Montana - Wikipedia
Bill and Jan Taylor - The Montana Central Railway
Bonita, MT - Flickr
Boulder, Montana - Wikipedia
Butler, MT - Genealogy Trails
Butte, Montana - Wikipedia
Cascade Montana - Cascade Montana Community Web Site
Clancy, Montana - Southwest Montana
Clinton, Montana - Wikipedia
Clough Junction, MT (Birdseye) - Genealogy Trails
Corbin, Montana - Wikipedia
Craig, Montana - Wikipedia
Drummond, Montana - Wikipedia
East of Helena - Helenahistory.org
Elk Park Pass - Wikipedia
Elliston, Montana - Wikipedia
Fears, David - Mark Twain Day By Day
Garrison, Montana - Wikipedia
Gold Creek (Montana) - Wikipedia
Great Falls, Montana - Wikipedia
Helena, Montana - Wikipedia
Lloyd, Montana - Wikipedia
Major James Pond - Eccentricities of Genius: Memories of Famous Men and Women of the Platform and Stage
Missoula, Montana - Wikipedia
Montana City, Montana - Wikipedia
Wickes, Montana - Wikipedia
Wolf Creek, MT - Wolf Creek Angler

Transcripts

Thursday, August 1st, 1895, they departed Great Falls, at 7:35 am. Everyone was tired out from the long ride of the day before and the high altitude. They traveled on the Montana Central Railway, a part of the Great Northern Railway owned by J J Hill.

James Jerome Hill, primary stockholder and president of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway , established the Montana Central Railway on January 25, 1886. Few railroads served Montana at that time. But Butte, Montana, was a booming mining town that needed to get its metals to market; gold and silver had been discovered near Helena; and coal companies in Canada were eager to get their fuel to Montana's smelters.

Hill had already decided to build the StPM&M across the northern tier of Montana, and it made sense to build a north-south railroad through central Montana to connect Great Falls with Helena and Butte. Another reason for building the Montana Central was Hill's investment in the city of Great Falls. Hill's close friend and business associate, Paris Gibson, had founded the town of Great Falls on the Great Falls of the Missouri River in 1883, and was promoting it as a site for the development of cheap hydroelectricity and heavy industry. Hill organized the Great Falls Water Power & Townsite Company in 1887, with the goal of developing the town of Great Falls; providing it with power, sewage, and water; and attracting commerce and industry to the city. [02:31] To attract industry, he offered low rates on the Montana Central Railway. Surveyors and engineers began grading a route between Helena and Great Falls in the winter of 1885-1886 (even before the company had been incorporated), and by the end of 1886 had surveyed a route from Helena to Butte. Construction on the Great Northern's line westward began in late 1886, and on October 16, 1887, the link between Devils Lake, North Dakota; Fort Assinniboine; and Great Falls was complete. Service to Helena began in November 1887, and Butte followed on November 10, 1888. On September 18, 1889, Hill changed the name of the Minneapolis and St. Cloud Railway, which existed primarily on paper, but which held very extensive land grants throughout the Pacific Northwest, to the Great Northern Railway. [03:53] On February 1, 1890, he transferred ownership of the StPM&M, Montana Central, and other rail systems he owned to the Great Northern. [04:08]

Ulm: Originally a large ranch owned by Indiana-born cattleman William Ulm. [04:19]

This is the territory of the Blackfoot Indians, and as with all the other Great Plains peoples, they often had hostile relationships with the encroaching white settlers. Despite the Blackfoot's generally peaceful nature, vis the US Army, they were brutally attacked by what has been described as “the greatest slaughter of Indians ever made by U.S. troops. The Marias Massacre. January 23, 1870. [05:01]

The army was actually after a different band said to be harboring a fellow named Owl Child. Owl Child had murdered a white trader named Malcolm Clarke, a revenge killing. Sometime previously Clarke apparently had raped Owl Child's wife, resulting in a still born child, or one killed by tribal elders. Owl Child had returned the favor apparently, by stealing some horses from Malcolm Clarke. [05:42] Clarke and his son had decided to return the favor by tracking Owl Child down and beating him severely in front of a group of other Blackfeet. [05:55] Apparently Owl Child decide to take refuge with a band of Blackfeet led by one Mountain Chief. [06:06]

The chief of the peaceful band, that was attacked, was named Heavy Runner. He had been alerted to the approach of the soldiers. He walked toward them with his safe-conduct paper. He was shot and killed by Army Scout Joe Cobell, whose wife was part of the camp of the hostile band led by Mountain Chief. He didn't want his wife's band attacked by the army. When fellow scout, Joe Kipp, realized the error and tried to signal the troops, he was threatened by the cavalry. [06:48] Following the death of Heavy Runner, the soldiers attacked and killed 173 Blackfeet, mostly women and children and the elderly. The younger men were out hunting. The army took 140 prisoners and destroyed the camp site and all their possessions. The prisoners were later released and had to make their way as refugees to Fort Benton reservation on their own, suffering terribly from exposure. [07:26]

Cascade: The town of Cascade grew out of several other communities near the present site of Cascade. On the east side of the Missouri, a small town named Ulida developed at the ferry (nicknamed "The Mayflower") for the Chestnut Valley freight and stage route. In l 879, George Steele opened a store in this new settlement. In 1885, the name was changed to Gorham. At that time Thomas Gorham, who later opened a store across the river, managed the Steele Store. In 1886, the land was sold to James and Mary Erskine, and in 1889 the town name was changed to St. Clair after the couple's baby who had just died. This small town flourished — residents built homes, and the Rev. Little started the Methodist church in 1889. It’s believed that the St. Clair school was held in the living room of the log cabin parsonage. A Chinese family ran a restaurant in Steele's store.

In 1886, the Montana Central started building its tracks from Great Falls on the west side of the river. Starting as a railroad-crew town, a new settlement named Dodge appeared, complete with a post office run by Thomas Gorham as postmaster. When the railroad was completed in 1887, the name was changed to Cascade. Just two months before, the Territorial Legislature established Cascade County from parts of Meagher, Choteau, Lewis and Clark, and Fergus. Before this action, the Missouri had divided Lewis and Clark County from Meagher County. [10:30]

From Great Falls to Craig: The first 50 miles of the line followed the west bank of the Missouri River from one mile south of the Sun River crossing near Great Falls to Craig. Most of the grade work was done during the fall of 1886 and with few exceptions conformed to the gradient of the river. The line was ironed in about 30 days and put into service November 19, 1887. [11:05]

Tower Rock: Landmark indicating the entryway to the buffalo hunting grounds. [11:16] Hardy Creek: Hardy Creek lies approximately eight miles south of Cascade, nearly half-way between Helena and Great Falls. Named for Rufus Hardy who came to the area in 1866, the small settlement was little more than a railroad siding for passenger and mail delivery and pickup. Hardy had its own post office 1888 and its own school in 1895. [11:52]

Tunnel #1, Green's Tunnel: 600 feet long and particularly difficult to build. It was excavated by crews working for contractors W.H. Green and A.K. Barbour. At 1:30 am, August 12th a block of stone six feet thick came loose from the ceiling. This in turn dislodged 20 feet of the tunnel's roof, crushing Jack Hayes, Joe Bush and Sam Tillerby who were busy installing timber lining. Four other men were injured and evacuated to Helena. [12:38]

An anachronistic story of events some 13 years after Mark Twain's party passed this way. Samuel Thomas Hauser, territorial governor of Montana from 1885 to 1887, in 1894 he formed the Missouri River Power Company and won the approval of the United States Congress to build a dam, the Hauser Dam, two miles below Stubb's Ferry on the Missouri River.  It was a steel dam built on masonry footings on top of gravel, with the ends of the dam anchored in bedrock on either side of the river. The dam was 630 feet long and 75 feet high. Because 300 feet of the center section of the dam was built on a gravel riverbed and the rest on bedrock, sheet pilings were driven 35 feet into the riverbed and the steel of the dam attached to the pilings. The upstream face of the dam was covered in concrete, and a 20-foot deep layer of volcanic ash laid down on the upstream riverbed extending 300 feet from the dam to discourage seeping. The 10 horizontal turbines in the powerhouse delivered 14,000 kilowatts of power. The total cost of the dam at that time was $1.5 million. It became operational on February 12, 1907.

On April 14, 1908, at about 2:30 PM, Hauser Dam failed after water pressure undermined the masonry footings. The first sign of trouble was when silt-heavy water began gushing from the base of the dam near the powerhouse. A power company employee, spotting the problem, ran into the powerhouse and told everyone to flee for their lives. About 15 minutes later, the masonry footings gave way, causing the upstream section of the dam to settle and a 30-foot wide breach to open in the dam. The water pouring through the breach further undermined the dam's footing, and six minutes later a 300-foot wide section of the dam tore loose. A surge of water 25 to 30 feet high swept downstream. The supervisor of construction, Martin Gerry, received a telephone call from the dam operators alerting him to the dam's destruction. He immediately sent telegrams to all towns and cities downstream, warning them of the coming flood. A Great Northern Railway locomotive was dispatched to the city of Great Falls, 70 miles downstream, warning stations along the way about the dam break. The flood reached the small town of Craig, Montana, around 7:00 PM, but the narrow canyons of the Missouri River above the town helped hold back part of the floodwaters. The residents of the town received plenty of warning, and were evacuated. The famous iron Craig Bridge, normally 25 feet above water, had more than 2 feet of water over its deck and was feared doomed, but it held. The Great Northern Railway tracks from Craig to Ulm were under water. Damages were estimated at more than $1 million. [16:49]

Wolf Creek: A River Runs through it. Nestled deep in the Big Belt Mountains in one of the most spectacular canyons in Montana, Wolf Creek was established as a stop along the Montana Central Railroad. Wolf Creek reportedly got its name from a local Indian legend that stated when the buffalo were being driven over a nearby cliff to their death, a wolf went along for the ride. They named the creek that flowed by the cliff “the creek where the wolf jumped too” or “the creek that the wolf jumped in.”

Prior to Wolf Creek being established, there was a town called Cartersville founded where Little Wolf Creek empties into Little Prickly Pear Creek. Wolf Creek grew from Cartersville to serve the railroad.The Wolf Creek Hotel, built in 1887, served as a stage stop along routes from Helena to Augusta and Fort Benton. Two cabins served as railroad housing.

Prior to the construction of the railroad, the first road constructed through the canyon was a toll road built in 1865 by the Little Prickly Pear Wagon Road Company. By the early 1870’s, the road was an important freight and passenger route in the territory. [18:35]

The Mullan Military Road ran through a portion of Prickly Pear Canyon in 1860. Five years later the road became part of the Little Prickly Pear Canyon Wagon Toll Road and then was called the Benton Road until 1887 when the Montana Central Railroad obliterated much of it. [20:06] Malcolm Clarke had the concession for that toll road. [20:14]

Clarke had been married to Kah Ko Kima, daughter of a Piegan chief. They had six children. He next married Good Singing Sandoval and had five children. It seems that Clarke's death was actually a family affair rather than a dispute between whites and Indians. Clarke's wife was sister to the wife of Owl Child. Owl Child was a son of Mountain Chief and brother to Big Brave, the last Mountain Chief. While Owl Child was out hunting, it is said that Clarke went over and raped Owl Child's wife. She told her husband but he hid his feelings, instead he took her to Mountain Chief's band then traveled to Clarke's ranch. Mountain Chief knew nothing of the events. It seems Owl Child did not go alone. It is reported that after an evening of conviviality with his Indian friends, Clarke was shot and killed by Eagle Rib, Pete Owl Child and perhaps other Piegans while his son, Horace, was shot in the head. These events were followed by the Marias massacre, or Baker's massacre, or Piegan massacre which I have already talked about. [21:57]

Many blame Major Eugene Baker for attacking the wrong band and the scale of the slaughter. It was also discovered that many in the camp were dying of smallpox. General Sheridan, however, succeeded in preventing an official investigation. The Blackfeet no longer had the resources to retaliate and had come to recognized the Americans as a very brutal people. [22:32]

One, perhaps positive, outcome of this was the President Ulysses S. Grant ended any discussion of returning control of Indian affairs to the army. The corruption of civilian Indian agents had become common knowledge. Grant appointed as Indian agents Quakers and other persons affiliated with religious groups. {23:02] Exiting the Canyon , we go past the location of Malcolm Clarke's ranch. The likely location where he met his demise. [23:14]

Silver City: The first county seat of Lewis and Clark County. [24:31] The national ‘silver panic’ of 1893 ended the county’s accelerated development. Virtually all silver mines closed, affecting the Rimini area and places west of Marysville in particular. Many Helena fortunes were ruined and the collateral economic effects prompted entire communities to be abandoned in an exodus of population never seen since. Struggling survivors held onto gold production, still vital at places like Marysville’s Drum Lummon mine and Spring Hill south of Helena but the industry was much reduced. Agriculture surfaced as the major industry. Helena’s political and financial status buffered the impact but the days of confident wealth were over. Rail lines withered, schools closed and the importance of formerly marginal influences such as recreation, public service, lumbering and small business rose to the fore. Mining continued on a sporadic basis and reworking old mine leavings, mechanized placer mining (dredging) and, later, some mineral mining (sapphires) remained active. [27:16]

From Craig to Helena: The second 50 miles of the line followed Little Prickly Pear Creek to the summit at Silver, then descended into the Helena Valley, crossed the NP west of town and climbed into the terminal grounds on lower Last Chance Gulch. Most of the preparation work was done in 1886, and the gradient seldom exceeded one percent. The line was put into service also on November 19, 1887. [28:57]

Helena: By 1888, about 50 millionaires lived in Helena, more per capita than in any city in the world. They had made their fortunes from gold. About $3.6 billion (in today's dollars) of gold was taken from Last Chance Gulch over a 20-year period. The Last Chance Placer is one of the most famous placer deposits in the western United States. Most of the production occurred before 1868. This large concentration of wealth was the basis of developing fine residences and ambitiou architecture in the city; its Victorian neighborhoods reflect the gold years. The numerous miners also attracted the development of a thriving red light district. Among the well-known local madams was Josephine "Chicago Joe" Airey, who built a thriving business empire between 1874 and 1893, becoming one of the largest and most influential landowners in Helena. [30:28]

East Helena: In 1888, a large lead smelter was built on the banks of Prickly Pear Creek in the Helena Valley by the Helena and Livingston Lead Smelting Company. In 1898, the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) purchased the 160 acre site. ASARCO operated the smelter until 2001. East Helena grew up around that enterprise. For over a century, the smelter processed 70,000 tons of lead bullion a year, and provided a livelihood for thousands of families. It also produced untold tons of toxic contaminants. [31:24]

Montana City: Montana City is located on top of one of the oldest prehistoric sites in the state of Montana. As early as 9,000 BCE, Native Americans came to Montana City to collect chert, a rock similar to flint which was used to make spear tips, arrowheads, and knives. White American explorers discovered gold at the site on July 2, 1862, and later that year United States Army Captain Jason L. Fisk brought a mule train from Minnesota which stopped at the site and built the first houses that became Montana City. The town became one of the most important mining centers in Montana during the height of the gold rush in the 1860s. The Montana Town Company laid out the city in 1864, naming it after the state's new territorial name. Chinese miners took over from whites when the mines began to play out in 1868, and the town saw a brief revival after the arrival of the railroads and the establishment of a post office in the 1880s. At its height in the 1880s, Montana City had 3,000 residents and competed for the location of the state capital. [33:14]

From Helena to Clancy: The first 5.9 miles of the line south of Helena paralleled the NP to East Helena (originally called Easton, the Four Range). The road then turned south, climbing along Prickly Pear Creek to Alhambra. Here it paralleled the Helena & Jefferson County RR built in 1883 to reach Wickes. [33:47] Clancy: Clancy boomed in the 1870s as a silver placer mining camp and quickly absorbed nearby towns like the once prosperous Prickly Pear City. When the silver diggings dwindled in the 1890s, Clancy would have died too, were it not for the efforts of Henry Hill, a Clancy resident. Hill had helped to establish Montana's first woolen mill in Clancy in 1879, and in 1896 he built a railroad yard on his ranch, which he sold to the Montana Central. [34:33] Alhambra: Alhambra was a resort town situated South of Helena and relied on the heavy traffic during the golden days of mining in the area. Alhambra and Sunnyside Hot Springs were the two hotels in the town, together composing a medical and recreational resort that flourished in the 1860s. Alhambra Hot Springs consists of four main springs and a number of hot water seeps located along Warm Springs Creek. The water temperature averages 138 degrees F. and is slightly radioactive. [35:21]

Corbin: Corbin was an important mining town in the 1890s and included a stamp mill and heavy infrastructure for the time which yielded decent amounts gold and silver. Alta Mine in particular, was a major silver mine in the area which the town developed around. A post office was active in Corbin from 1887. [36:42]

Wickes: The silver mines around Wickes were among the earliest developed in Montana. The first mine, the Gregory, was located by an unknown prospector in 1864 and was the site of the second silver smelter built in Montana in 1867. Discovered in 1869, the Alta proved to be one of the richest silver mines in Montana. In 1876, its original owners sold the property to a group of New York capitalists head by William W. Wickes. The cartel organized the Montana Company that same year and platted the community of Wickes in either 1876 or 1877. The camp had around 400 residents by 1880. [37:48]

Boulder Tunnel (Tunnel #6): 6,115 feet long, the longest tunnel on Hill's railroads until 1929. Contractors began work in March of 1887, and the first train passed through October 25, 1888. Eleven men were killed during its construction. Until it was finished, the Montana Central used the Northern Pacific line over Boulder Hill. Northern Pacific later abandoned their own line from Clancy to Amazon in lieu of trackage rights through the tunnel. By 1891 the tunnel's wooden lining was replaced with brick and granite, a six foot wide steel beam was inserted in the ceiling. During 1882 and 1883, the railroad was again detoured. Portals were added to the tunnel in 1893, extending the tunnel by 30 feet. Doors at both ends of the tunnel prevented ice build up. [39:08]

The community of Wickes was a booming, although atypically quiet, mining camp by mid-1880. The Weekly Herald reported that: "No liquor is allowed in the camp, and any employee who becomes intoxicated loses his place at once. Regardless, the camp boasted a public library and the firm of Vawter & Wickes built a substantial stone building that sold "everything which the people of the camp required." [39:50]

Boulder City: Named for the many large boulders in the vicinity, the town of Boulder Valley was established in the early 1860s as a stagecoach station on the route between Fort Benton and Virginia City. It later became a trading center for nearby agricultural areas and the Elkhorn, Comet, and Baltimore mining districts. The Great Northern Railway branch line from Helena to Butte reached Boulder in 1888. State schools for the deaf, blind, and developmentally disabled were established in the city in 1892. [40:40]

Basin: The town of Basin began as a 19th century mining camp near the confluence of Basin Creek with the Boulder River. Gold deposits at the mouth of Cataract Creek, about 0.5 miles downstream of Basin were reported as early as 1862. Prospectors staked claims and built cabins, and within a few years placer mining extended the full lengths of Cataract and Basin Creeks. When a settlement was established in Basin, the buildings at the mouth of Cataract Creek were gradually moved to Basin, and the Cataract camp was abandoned. Searches for the lode veins on both creeks succeeded by the 1870s and eventually led to significant lode mining at the Eva May, Uncle Sam, Grey Eagle, Hattie Ferguson, and Comet mines in the Cataract Creek district and the Bullion, Hope, and Katy mines in the Basin Creek district. By 1880, the settlement at Basin became the local source of supplies for mines and miners. [43:43]

Montana Central Railroad reached Bernice, five miles west of Basin, in June 1888. While never a town, several mines were located on the hillside above Bernice, and Lake Wilder was only two miles south. Just across the Boulder River was the stage station at Calvin's Ranch. Bernice was a water stop for southbound trains and it housed a section gang. For a time there were charcoal kilns there that supplied fuel to the region's mills. Passenger trains brought Butte families to Wilder to enjoy fresh air and scenery on the man-made lake. [44:33]

Elk Park Pass, elevation 6,352 ft (1,936 m), is a mountain pass on the Continental Divide. Elk Park Pass lies on the border between Silver Bow and Jefferson counties and is remarkable for its highly asymmetrical nature. The approach from the north is through namesake Elk Park, a high, mostly treeless plain, and the grade is almost imperceptible: The elevation at the northeast end of the park, about 10 miles (16 km) from the pass, is about 6,200 ft, only 152 ft (46 m) lower than the pass itself. However, at the south end, the highway drops 750 ft (230 m) from the pass into Butte over a distance of only about 4 miles. [46:19]

Elk Park: Elk Park, the 10-mile long valley north of Butte, boasts a colorful history of providing the Mining City with everything from milk to moonshine. The area was known for its cattle ranching, dairy production, ice making, logging and even some less-than-legal activities. Everybody had a copper cow. Folks also had real cows and produced more wholesome products of milk and other dairy items. Most of the early settlers were of Swiss ancestry, and brought dairy skills with them. They would cart the milk down to the Mining City each day. During hard times in Butte the Elk Park dairy farmers gave milk to families that couldn’t pay. They knew the milk was going to go bad anyway, and they’d rather have a child have the milk and let the family pay them back later. [47:26]

August 2d Butte Montana. Arriving in Butte, they took rooms in the Butte Hotel. We enter the Rocky Mountains through a canon of the Upper Missouri; we have climbed mountains all day and at Butte are nearly 8,000 feet high.It tells on me but the others escape. The ladies declare it has been one of the most interesting days of their lives and Mark has taken in everything but kept from talking. After reaching the hotel he kept quiet in bed until he went to the hall. He more than made up for last night's disappointment and was at his best.

I escorted Mrs Clemens and Clara to a box in the theatre expecting to return immediately to the hotel, but I found myself listening and sat through the lecture enjoying every word. It actually seemed as if I had never known him to be quite so good. He was great. The house was full and very responsive. After the lecture many of his former Nevada friends came forward to greet him. We went to a fine club where champagne and stories blended until twelve much to the delight of many gentlemen. Mark never drinks champagne. His is hot Scotch winter and summer without any sugar and never before 11 pm. [50:34]

Friday, August 2nd 1895. Today, Mark and I went from Butte to Anaconda without the ladies. We left the hotel at 4:30 by trolley car in order to have plenty of time to reach the train, but we had gone only three blocks when the power gave out and we could not move It was twelve minutes to five and there was no carriage in sight We tried to get a grocery wagon, but the mean owner refused to take us a quarter of a mile to the depot for less than ten dollars. I told him to go to. I saw another grocery wagon near by and told its owner I would pay any price to reach that train.

'Mark' and I mounted the seat with him. He laid the lash on his pair of bronchos, and I think quicker time was never made to that depot. We reached the train just as the conductor shouted 'All aboard!' and had signalled the engineer. The train was moving as we jumped on. The driver charged me a dollar, but I handed him two. [01:29]

In 1885, Marcus Daly, the owner of Butte and Anaconda, met with Charles Broadwater , the owner of Helena, and made a proposal that if he, Broadwater, and J.J. Hill, the owner of what would become the Montana Central Railroad, he, Daly, would build a smelter near Great Falls and move his ore of Hill's road. Daly was already fed up with the antics of the Union and Northern Pacific Railroads. [02:20] Hill and calculated that he could deliver coal to Butte for two dollars a ton. The Union Pacific was charging six dollars a ton. [02:32]

In 1886, the Union Pacific and the Northern Pacific railroads created the Montana Union Railroad, a joint venture that they would share 50/50. The primary traffic base was the Butte Cooper, especially that coming from the Anaconda smelter. Unfortunately for them, the Interstate Commerce Commision had ruled that traffic pooling arrangements such as this were in violation of antitrust laws. Artificially high rates as they charged were no longer permitted. This put the two lines at odds with each other. As property owner, the Union Pacific had the upper hand and most of the Montana Union officers were Union Pacific men. Consequently expenses for maintenance work were charged off to the Northern Pacific, which refused to pay. [03:45] On top of this, the Montana Union workers struck for higher pay. Marcus Daly shut down the Anaconda smelter for several months in frustration. [04:01]

In 1894, the Butte Anaconda and Pacific railway had been built for Daly by J.J. Hill. The Montana Union had attempt to block any parallel lines to Anaconda by realigning their tracks in a zig zag pattern through Silver Bow Canyon. They were forced to yield. [04:29]

"At Anaconda we found a very fine hotel and several friends very anxiously waiting to meet 'Mark.' Elaborate arrangements had been made to lunch him and give him a lively day among his old mountain friends, as he had been expected by the morning train. Fortunately he missed this demonstration and was in good condition for the evening. He was introduced by the mayor of the city in a witty address of welcome. Here was our first small audience, where the local manager came out a trifle the loser.

"A little incident connected with our experience here shows 'Mark Twain's' generosity. The local manager was a man who had known 'Mark' in the sixties, and was very anxious to secure him for a lecture in Anaconda. He, therefore, contracted to pay the price asked. Anaconda is a small city, whose chief industry is a large smelting furnace. There were not enough people interested in high-class entertainments to make up a paying audience, and the manager was short about sixty dollars I took what he had, and all he had, giving him a receipt in full. As ' Mark' and I were not equal partners, of course the larger share of the loss fell to him. I explained the circumstances when we had our next settlement at the end of the week, hoping for his approval

"'And you took the last cent that poor fellow had! Send him a hundred dollars, and if you can't afford to stand your share, charge it all to me. I'm not going around robbing poor men who are disappointed in their calculations as to my commercial value I'm poor, and working to pay debts that I never contracted but I don't want to get money in that way.' " I sent the money, and was glad of the privilege of standing my share The letter of acknowledgment from that man brought out the following expression from'Mark': 'I wish that every hundred dollars I ever invested had produced the same amount of happiness!' [07:23]

Mark Twain disliked interviews, yet he seemed to enjoy talking to reporters, he never rebuffed them. Neatly he confounded one inexperienced journalist of Anaconda, who confronted him while he was waiting for a train. Without giving the reporter a chance to open up, Mark Twain began asking questions about Montana and so leading this novice on that by train time the young man discovered that he had been doing all the talking, having got from Mark Twain nothing but questions, a farewell handshake, and a cigar. [00:53]

Sam and Major Pond returned to Butte. From there the entire Clemens party traveled some 60 miles to Helena Montana and took rooms at the Hotel Helena. [01:12]

In Helena August 3rd 1895 the people did not care for lectures. They all liked “Mark” and enjoyed meeting him, but there was no public enthusiasm for the man that has made the early history of that mining country romantic and famous all over the world. The Montana Club entertained him grandly after the lecture, and he met many old friends and acquaintances. Some of them had come all the way from Virginia City to see their former comrade of the mining camps. One man, now very rich, came from Virginia City, Nevada, on purpose to see “Mark” and settle an old score. When the glasses were filled, and “Mark’s” health proposed, this man interrupted the proceedings by saying: “Hold on a minute; before we go further I want to say to you, Sam Clemens, that you did me a d — d dirty trick over there in Silver City, and I’ve come here to have a settlement with you.” There was a deathly silence for a moment, when “Mark” said in his deliberate drawl: “Let’s see. That — was — before — I — reformed, wasn’t — it?” Senator Sanders suggested that inasmuch as the other fellow had never reformed, Clemens and all the others present forgive him and drink together, which all did. Thus “the row was broken up before it commenced” (Buck Fanshaw) — and all was well. “Mark” told stories until after twelve. We walked from the club to the hotel up quite a mountain, the first hard walk he has had. He stands the light air well, and is getting stronger. [03:35]

Sunday, August 4th, the dry burning sun makes life almost intolerable, so that there has been hardly a soul on the streets all day. “Mark” and I had a good time at the Montana Club last night. He simply beats the world telling stories, but we find some bright lights here. There were present Senator Sanders, Major Maginnis, Hugh McQuade, A. J. Seligman, Judge Knowles, of the United States Supreme Court, who introduced Mr. Beecher in Deer Lodge and Butte in 1883; L. A. Walker, Dr. C. K. Cole, A. J. Steele, and Frank L. Sizer. {04:29]

In 1885, when the club was founded, Helena was enjoying a sky rocketing boom. Fueled by its position as capital of the state, its proximity to gold fields and silver, lead deposits, and the arrival two years before of the North Pacific Railway which soon quadrupled the population and substantially increased the traffic in goods into and out of the town. In 1888 the town was crawling with millionaires, 50 in all, about 1 for every 250 people. But by the time the Clemenses arrived the town was less opulent. The panic of 1893 had destroyed the boom. Helena never regained its once fabulous prosperity. [05:30]

We have very heavy mails, but are all too tired to open and read letters that are not absolutely necessary to be read. “Mark” lay around on the floor of his room all day reading and writing in his notebook and smoking. In the gloaming Dr. Cole, with his trotters, drove “Mark” and Mrs. Clemens out to Broadwater, four miles. [06:00]

The Broadwater, the grand 50 room Victorian cottage style hotel and naturium. It cost one half a million dollars to build and opened August 26th 1889. The Plunge, heated by a natural hot springs opened five days later. The hotel catered to the millionaries of Helena, but opened to the working class on special occasions. [06:41] The heat gave way to a delicious balmy breeze that reinvigorated everybody. How delightful are these summer evenings in the Rocky Mountains!

Monday August 5th, 1895:

Senator Sanders walked with Mark to the station in Helena this morning while I accompanied the ladies in a carriage. Whom should we meet walking the platform of the station but Mrs Henry Ward Beecher on her way to visit her son Herbert in Port Townsend. It was a delightful surprise. Senator Sanders at once recognized her.

Monday August 5th, 1895:

Senator Sanders walked with Mark to the station in Helena this morning while I accompanied the ladies in a carriage. Whom should we meet walking the platform of the station but Mrs Henry Ward Beecher on her way to visit her son Herbert in Port Townsend. It was a delightful surprise. Senator Sanders at once recognized her.

As in 1883, he joined our party and drove from Helena (then the end of the eastern section of the Northern Pacific Railroad) to Missoula, the eastern end of the western division. In 1883, we drove in a carriage with four horses via Butte and Deer Lodge and it took four days to make the journey. Today, Senator Sanders traveled the same distance with us in five hours in a Pullman car.

At Missoula we all drove in a bus to the Florence House the ladies inside and Mark and I outside with the driver. Here we saw the first sign of the decadence of the horse, a man riding a bicycle alongside the bus, leading a horse to a nearby blacksmith shop. At Mark's suggestion I caught a snapshot of that scene.

Officers from Fort Missoula, four miles out, had driven in with ambulances and an invitation from Lieutenant-Colonel Burt, commandant, for our entire party to dine at the fort. The ladies accepted. Mark went to bed and I looked after the business.

We had a large audience in a small hall, the patrons being mainly officers of the fort and their families. As most of the ladies who marry army officers come from our best Eastern society, it was a gathering of people who appreciated the occasion.

After the lecture, the meeting took the form of a social reception and it was midnight before it broke up. On the way back to the fort that evening, Col. Burt told Twain that he was taking him to a place where he wouldn’t have to entertain but he himself would be entertained. Mr.Twain threw up his hands and said, ‘Great heavens! Is there such a place of delight on earth?’As it turned out, Twain was continuously surrounded by officers. Every time he would try to tell a joke, an officer would interrupt saying, ‘eg your pardon, Mr. Clemens, permit me to tell a little incident.’The officer would tell an old army story. After each story Twain would start in on another story of his own, but again he’d be interrupted. Finally he exclaimed, ‘ beg you, give me just one chance.’After the laughter died down, he added in his inimitable drawl, ‘ay, boys, I haven’t had one put over on me as good as that since the old Comstock days!’

The day has been one of delight to all of us. As we leave at 2:30 PM to morrow all have accepted an invitation to witness guard mounting and lunch early at the fort.

August 6: Two ambulances were sent to the hotel for our party and Adjutant General Ruggles, who is here on a tour of inspection. Mark rose early and said he would walk to the fort slowly, he thought it would do him good. General Ruggles and the ladies went in one ambulance, the old four mule army officers ambulance, and the other waited some little time before starting that I might complete arrangements for all the party to go direct from the fort to the depot. I was the only passenger riding with the driver and enjoying the memory of like experiences on the plains when in the army.

We were about half way to the fort when I discovered a man walking hurriedly toward us quite a distance to the left. I was sure it was Mark and asked the driver to slow up. In a minute I saw him signal us and I asked the driver to turn and drive toward him. We were on a level plain and through that clear mountain atmosphere one can see a great distance. We were not long in reaching our man much to his relief. He had walked out alone and taken the wrong road and after walking five or six miles on it discovered his mistake and was countermarching when he saw our ambulance and ran across lots to meet us.He was tired too tired to express disgust and sat quietly inside the ambulance until we drove up to headquarters where were a number of officers and ladies besides our party.

As Mark stepped out, a colored sergeant laid hands on him saying, Are you Mark Twain? I am he replied. I have orders to arrest and take you to the guardhouse. All right. And the sergeant walked him across the parade ground to the guardhouse, he not uttering a word of protest. Immediately Lieutenant Colonel Burt and the ambulance hurried over to relieve the prisoner. Colonel Burt very pleasantly asked Mark's pardon for the practical joke and invited him to ride back to headquarters. Mark said Thanks, I prefer freedom if you don't mind I'll walk. I see you have thorough discipline here, casting an approving eye toward the sergeant who had him under arrest.

The garrison consisted of seven companies of the Twenty seventh United States Colored Regiment. There was a military band of thirty pieces. Guard mount was delayed for General Buggies and our inspection. The band played quite a programme and all declared it one of the finest military bands in America. We witnessed some fine drilling of the soldiers and learned that for this kind of service the colored soldiers were more subordinate and submissive to rigid drill and discipline than white men and that there were very few desertions from among them. When the band in ‘trooping off’ had marched past the guard and was counter marching back to the post, Col. [Andrew] Burt said, ‘Mr. Twain says in one of his books that there were two things he didn’t understand, one is the solar eclipse and the other is the counter marching band.’ Twain replied, ‘You are right, colonel, on both counts. I haven’t solved the band proposition even now, and as for the other count, I was modest before I was born’”

The Clemens party traveled the 150 or so miles by train from Missoula to Spokane, Wash.

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